The Chief of Defense Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin on Thursday, urged the media to vigorously project the positive role of the military in nation building so as to correct existing public misconceptions of the service.
The defence chief said at a workshop on Civil-Military Relations, held in Kaduna, that the Nigerian military has intensified efforts to strengthen its relationship with the civil populace by creating more platforms for civil and military engagement.
“Today, the military has intensified efforts to build bridges of understanding between itself and the civil populace,” he said, adding that the existing misconception are gradually getting belittled as a result of the policies of the military to create platform for enhanced mutual engagement.
According to him, the armed forces is open to all citizens and called on media practitioners to regard the military as partners in the defense of the citizens and the territorial integrity of the country.
Olonisakin said: “The involvement of the Military in the Country’s internal security is as a result of new and conventional dimension which witnessed the form of terrorism and insurgency and other criminalities with consequence usually beyond the purview of conventional Police.”
He disclosed that the achievement and sacrifices of the military is usually down played by some sections of the media.
The defence chief, therefore, urged the media to give required support for the military to bring to an end the insurgency, wanton killings by herders and militants.
H said: “The common goal and shared responsibility of the Military and the media is the protection of the citizens; this makes it important to collaborate.
Speaking at the event, the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, advised media practitioners to operate within the boundary of reason and moderation so as to help avoid damaging or destroying social sovereignty of the nation through fake news.
Masari who was represented by Mustapha Inuwa, called on the Military to also be guided by existing rules in their dealings with civilians.
According to him, media organisations in the state have been playing significant roles in promoting civil-military relations particularly with regards to the current fight against armed banditry across the State.
On his part, Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufa’i called for mutual trust between the society and the media in ensuring good governance.
While declaring the workshop open, the Governor who was represented by the Senior Adviser on Security , Abbas Mohammed said the workshop was apt as it was held during post-election period characterized by high mobilization of partisan interest as well as the security challenges in some states.
He added: “These challenges came in the form of armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling and the Military and other security agencies are responsible for calming the situation while the media is responsible for directing public attention to those areas affected as well as reporting effort of Military in solving the problems.”